what grass to use

douglasont(6 ON)January 31, 2013

Hi: Any suggestions for using ornamental grasses in this bed. It gets morning sun (east) until about noon. During the summer it can be quite hot and a bit dry.
I like the look of a mass planting of grasses a lot and have larger varieties in some other beds.
I just had this box window/renovation completed last summer and the only plants I put in are the 5 little Tom-Thumb Cotoneasters in front of the pea gravel trench up against the house. The two yews are also staying.
I don�t think Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' is quite the right grass for here as it might be to tall. Maybe just a big bed of some kind of fountain grass?
What do you think?

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You'll have to stay very small if you want to fill the entire area in front of the C. adpressus. You could get away with a taller and narrow grass in front of each Yew.

Take a look at the smaller Carex varieties. They don't need full sun, and some can deal well with slightly dry conditions. The variegated ones and yellow-green ones would be set off well by the darker Cotoneasters and Yews.

These are 2-year old Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' They barely reach a foot in height.

You could also look at the various dwarf Pennisetum alopecuroides like 'Piglet,' 'Little Bunny' and 'Little Honey.'

Consider also some low-growing non-grass items for fill and color. Dianthus deltoides 'Arctic Fire' is a nice spreader, as is Delosperma cooperii.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:49AM
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douglasont(6 ON)

Thanks donn!I like the idea of the Carex and the dwarf Pennisetums are also a good option. When we first bought this house there was an old, very dark red, coral-bells growing here - it loves the hot sun. I moved it and think I will bring it back dividing it enough to make a contrasting row for the grasses. Thanks again for your response.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:27AM
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